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With the start of another series of the popular BBC show Who do You Think You Are?, Medway residents are invited to discover their family history at Medway Archives & Local Studies Centre (MALSC).
Each week volunteers from Kent Family History Society will be at the Strood centre to help beginners in family history.
The helpdesk is at MALSC every Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am to 12noon.

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This year’s Medway River Festival will be awash with exciting displays and activities for all the family.

The free event takes place this Saturday, 6 July and celebrates Medway’s maritime heritage, with sailing vessels of every kind joining together for river displays and races. On land there will be exhibitions and talks, food stalls, live music and nautical themed performances throughout the day.

Among the groups taking part this year will be Medway Yacht Club, Medway Towns Rowing Club, Flying Fish Hovercraft, The Royal Yachting Association, RNLI River Rescue along with a Fire Tug Display and a Sea King Helicopter. More

Wednesday 17th July 2013:

Local History and Chips – an evening guided tour of Gravesend town centre with Christoph Bull and then onto the Reliance Fish Restaurant in Queen Street for an optional meal
Meet: 6pm outside Gravesend Library, Windmill Street – this tour will end in Queen Street at 7pm.

Cost: £3 per head for the tour, meal is optional and pay for what you would like at the Reliance Restaurant (Gravesend and Northfleet’s oldest surviving fish and chip restaurant).
No need to book, just turn up.

Information: Christoph Bull on 07702 287147

There can be very few people that think an airport anywhere on the Peninsula is a fantastic idea. If you would like to see why this area doesn’t need an airport and to get to appreciate some of the beauty that surrounds us, most often within walking distance of our homes, click the link below. It will take you to a Council publication that shows some circular walks on the Hoo Peninsula, some are good just for the view others will have you walking through history that in some cases goes back several thousand years. It may only be some coppiced woodland or the very path that you are walking on but many of us believe it should stay that way.

CLICK HERE

Places are limited for two special guest lectures running alongside the exhibition “Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott & Shackleton”, showing in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery at The Historic Dockyard Chatham until 30th August. Read More

upnorcastleWPVisitors to Upnor Castle can relive the infamous Dutch Raid thanks to an exciting living history event on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June.
The Dutch are Coming! is a family-friendly spectacle depicting the events of the 1667 battle, when the Dutch sailed up the River Medway to attack the British fleet at anchor.

Costumed actors will bring the story to life, regaling tales of the events and tactics that allowed the Dutch to successfully capture HMS Royal Charles and to destroy other ships based at Chatham Dockyard. More

A new exhibition opened at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre on Thursday, 6 June.

Gillingham and beyond is a free exhibition looking a Gillingham High Street, Brompton, Gads Hill and Rainham in the 1960s. The photographs are taken from the Gillingham Borough Engineers Department, many of the areas shown were demolished during the 1960s. Take a trip down memory lane and revisit the shops in Gillingham 1960s style.

Exhibition open during normal opening hours and runs from 6 June to 6 August 2013 at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Clock Tower Building, Strood. For more details visit: http://www.medway.gov.uk/leisureandculture/libraries/archivesandlocalstudies/planningyourvisittomalsc.aspx

03 De Bello CanzioJoin Kent Wildlife Trust on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May for BIGBURY REVEALED!
(Bigbury Nature Reserve, Harbledown. 10am – 4pm) – FREE entry.

Step back in time and experience Bigbury Camp as it was in 54BC. Meet up with the local Cantii tribe as they face the Roman invasion. Discover the hidden side of the recently restored Iron Age Hill Fort – a Scheduled Ancient Monument, thought to be the site of Caesar’s first battle. More

STUDY SHOWS AWARENESS OF THE RISK LOW. OVARIAN CANCER ACTION CALLS FOR ALL WOMEN TO CHECK THEIR FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY

Following revelations that actress Angelina Jolie has the BRCA gene and undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her risks of developing breast cancer, leading research charity, Ovarian Cancer Action are calling for women, especially those with a significant family history of either breast or ovarian cancer, to check their family medical history. More

Kent Wildlife Trust have a fantastic event for the week begining of the 27th May at Blean between Canterbury and Whitstable. Click on the link below to visit their page with all of the information you need. Fun and learning activities for all the family.

http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats/blean-woodland-festival
blean_festival_queens_of_the_forest

Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

An exhibition of the ultimate expeditions of both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton – charted through the words, photographs and artefacts of those who survived and those who perished in this most hostile of environments – is being shown at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery from 24 May until 30 August. This exhibition is in association with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with artefacts from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Royal Museums Greenwich and Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive. More

A Red Ensign will be flown over Medway Council’s Gun Wharf building in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Battle is known as the “longest, largest, and most complex” in naval history and continued throughout the Second World War. During this time, pitched battles were carried out on the high seas to win control of the Atlantic and maintain vital supply routes between Britain and America. Huge convoys of Merchant Naval vessels sailed under the protection of British and Allied navy and air forces while under attack from German U-boats and other parts of the Nazi military machine. More

Wednesday 22nd May – meet 7pm at Chalk Church, Church Lane, Chalk – Christoph Bull is the guide. £4 for adults, children free – come and find out about the rural part of Chalk where the urban area suddenly stops. Details Christoph Bull 01474 320156 or 07702287147. No need to book just turn up. (Celebrating 40 years of Chalk Parish History Group – joint event with Gravesend Historical Society)

Discover your family’s history with help from Kent Family History Society. The Society is offering courses at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Strood, on Wednesdays 10, 17, 24 April, and Saturdays 13 and 20 April from 10am to noon on all dates. Courses are free but places must be booked in advance. All courses require computer use. To book a place phone 01634 332714.

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 21st of March 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham and includes a talk by Odette Buchanan titled Mills and Broom, a history of wind and watermills around the Medway Towns. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164 – stevemartin54@hotmail.com or John Knott 01634 862688.
For details of the venue – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

Mothering Sunday, Sunday 10th March 12 noon – 4pm

Find out more about the origins of Mothering Sunday and treat your mum to a handmade card, or present her with a special handmade award! Craft activities for children in the Education Room from 12 noon – 4pm. Special lunchtime menus in the Garden Restaurant. Or treat Mum to a stylish afternoon tea! More

Penshurst Place & Gardens prepares for the Spanish Armada on
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March from 12 noon to 4pm

This popular family event recreates life at Penshurst Place in 1588 when the Spanish Armada threatens to invade England. On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March, the household readies itself for the anticipated invasion and a skilled cast of costumed actors and musicians portray some colourful characters in Tudor England. More

Butchers in Cliffe with thanks to MALSC (Medway Archiives & Local Studies Centre

Shops of Medway are the subject of a new exhibition and talk at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.

These we have loved: Shops, stores and emporia of Medway is on from Monday, 19 November to Tuesday, 29 January.

This exhibition is reminiscence about local shops and stores, with photographs, advertisements and history of some of Medway’s best-loved stores. Featuring Leonards, Bates, Featherstones, the Lefevre stores and many others.

Window-shopping in Medway: Department stores remembered is the subject of a talk on Wednesday, 5 December at 2.30pm.

The exhibition and the talk are free. For more details and for opening times contact the archive centre on 01634 332714 or visit our website

……by a ship of the Royal Navy since 1984 – a real Salute to the ‘40s!

HMS CAVALIER, The Historic Dockyard Chatham’s very own Second World War destroyer, will mark her own “Salute to the ‘40s” by firing a ‘broadside’ using all three of her 4.5” guns at 12.00 noon on Saturday 15th September, the first day of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

The last broadsides fired from operational Royal Navy ships were by HMS LONDON as she returned to the UK before paying off in February 1982 and HMS ZULU on paying off in 1984. Three rounds will be fired from A, B and Y guns on board HMS CAVALIER by the Historic Naval Gun Crew, a group of re-enactor volunteers who have assisted in restoring the ship’s guns and who will also re-create Captain’s Defaulters and bring the ship to life over the weekend of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

HMS CAVALIER was one of ninety-six war emergency destroyers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Awarded the Battle Honour ‘Arctic 1945’ for operations off northern Norway and in support of the homeward-bound Russian convoy RA64, CAVALIER later operated in the Western Approaches, undertaking duties which included the high-speed escort of the liners-turned-troopships RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS CAVALIER, together with an adjacent bronze monument is now the National Destroyer Memorial 1939-1945 marking the very special contribution made by these ships and the men who served in them.
More

Upnor Castle from the Medway

Visitors to Upnor Castle will get to relive the Dutch raid as part of an exciting re-enactment event on Saturday 23 and Sunday, 24 June.
The Dutch are Coming! is a family friendly event depicting the brave but ineffective battle in 1667 when the Dutch sailed up the river to attack the British fleet at anchor. More

Allotments through the ages, from the early days on an Edwardian plot to the re-birth of allotments 10 years ago is the subject of a talk at Rainham Library.

The illustrated talk by Chris Cornish-Lawrence will examine the history of the allotment movement with particular emphasis on Rainham and Gillingham.

The talk will focus on the history of allotments and the people who worked on them since they arrived in the Medway area in the 19th century.

The talk will include maps of the sites, a few photos and other visual memorabilia.

Allotments in Medway: Rainham and Gillingham, Wednesday, 18 April at 2.30pm at Rainham Library.
This is a free event but booking is essential on 01634 332714.

A new and novel idea Boris and friends, I think not! This site or close to it on the North Kent Marshes was suggested, in 1947, and again in 1963 and 1974 then in 2003 every time it was rejected. More

Luton village history – development and change in Victorian Luton, is the subject of the talk by Brian Joyce at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 18 January at Chatham Library. More

Get into the festive spirit with two seasonal talks in December More

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is looking for people who worked or have a link to the former Royal Navy dockyard at Chatham to share their experiences and reminiscences. Stories can range from apprenticeships, daily life, a specific event, or a pertinent memory you would like to share. We are looking for stories to be included in the displays of our new 19th and 20th gallery, opening in the Spring. If you would like to contribute please contact Alex Patterson, Collections & Gallery Manager by email – apatterson@chdt.org.uk or by telephone – 01634 823800 before the end of November 2011.

This article was originally published in the May 2011 issue of The Clock Tower, the newsletter of the Friends of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre or (FOMA). To join FOMA, you can visit their website at http://www.foma-lsc.org More

Find out how to research your family history and uncover the secrets of your ancestors’ past at an exhibition and two special talks being held at Eastgate House over the next two weeks. More

The Brook Theatre will host a series of creative workshops throughout July and August. More

Thursday July 21st 2011, Speaker: Andrew Mayfield. The archaeology spans many periods; from Stone Age flint tools scattered on the high heath, to the remains of the 20th century clay working industry, which created much of the park’s contours today. A World War II RAF billet camp still lies hidden in the trees, and a grand medieval manor house with numerous outbuildings once stood looking down a slope towards the Thames. Andrew will update us on the exciting project that Lyn Palmer described to us in 2007.

This is a Higham History Group event full detail can be obtained by clicking the link on the left.

In their quest to conquer England, the Romans landed in Kent in 43 AD More

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